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Author Topic: Performance Skills  (Read 2224 times)

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playandteach

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2017, 07:14:09 PM »

The pendulum seems to have started back, from immaculate but cold recordings to imperfect but alive and ephemeral performances. If you aren't there, you miss it.
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Chris Brimley

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2017, 08:54:23 PM »

Funnily enough, I do find that being able to set down a steady beat makes it much easier not to fall over mid-tune, (and so is having a good rhythm a section in a band) so I agree that this discussion about stomp boxes is very relevant.  I would also like to find a good one - I have a stereo (heel and toe) 'Beat-Root', and it's surprisingly easy for the foot to use, but I can't really get on with it, because both channels require so much eq'ing that it's not all that practical. 
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Chris Brimley

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2017, 08:57:31 PM »

And on the issue of steadiness, it's an awful lot better having one than not for keeping a good rhythm.  However if in a band with a good drummer, it still comes into its own in setting out a 'groove' when starting to play a tune, I reckon.
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george garside

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #43 on: September 16, 2017, 11:21:20 PM »

when I was in my teens  I knew a bloke who played regularly for ceilidhs and Scottish country dances on a small 3 row box usually accompanied by a pianist. He also had a very accurate invisible drummer!  On one foot he wore an army surplus hobnail boot and kept time with it on the bass of the microphone  stand!

george
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Little eggy

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #44 on: September 17, 2017, 08:59:55 AM »

Very helpful topic. Agree totally with (1) starting slow and building speed;(2)  'carry on and recover - don't stop and start again';  (3) enjoy the performance.

May I add -

Use Youtube and CDs to get the tune totally familiar in your head (I have all my CDs in the car). 

Arrive early at folk club/folk session and warm your fingers up properly. I play a lot better after 5 minutes of playing.
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Clive Williams

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #45 on: September 17, 2017, 11:15:55 AM »

After a conversation with Squeezy in the showers at Sidmouth (!), I have decided to make a stomp box (as used by Spiers and Boden) for use in keeping people to the same tempo in my Well Known Tunes at a Steady Pace sessions. This should ensure that everybody plays at the wrong speed!  :o

Did he say where the design could be found?

I suspect that this would take practice to play well. I read something  Eliza C posted, pointing out that Jon worked pretty hard at making it sound good.

There's a YouTube video on Jon Boden's channel where he shows the stompbox up close and what it looks like underneath. It's a pretty interesting set of videos where he covers all his instruments that he uses in his solo show.

BJG

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #46 on: September 17, 2017, 08:08:55 PM »

I agree that this discussion about stomp boxes is very relevant.  I would also like to find a good one - I have a stereo (heel and toe) 'Beat-Root', and it's surprisingly easy for the foot to use, but I can't really get on with it, because both channels require so much eq'ing that it's not all that practical.

I recently picked up a Horse Kick Pro. (I generally struggle to play anything that doesn't take batteries.)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 08:10:35 PM by BJG »
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george garside

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #47 on: September 17, 2017, 08:20:30 PM »

that sort of ''clack clack'' comes entirely free of charge and effort with every hohner pokerwork, double ray and Erica! 

george >:E ;)
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Ebor_fiddler

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #48 on: September 20, 2017, 12:16:30 AM »

 ;D
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Jack Campin

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #49 on: September 20, 2017, 01:59:10 PM »

A comment Dick Gaughan once made on a forum: "I've never yet done a show without fucking something up and never yet done one where the audience noticed".
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george garside

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #50 on: September 20, 2017, 02:30:21 PM »

indeed!, I often think we sometimes worry far too much about getting every detail ''correct'' - whatever correct may mean in the sense of playing trad folk music either for dance or as a 'performance'.  Its the overall efficacy that matters

george
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Stiamh

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #51 on: September 20, 2017, 02:40:15 PM »

A comment Dick Gaughan once made on a forum: "I've never yet done a show without fucking something up and never yet done one where the audience noticed".

A slight exaggeration, surely. I saw him eff up the start of a song and have to start again, something that can hardly have escaped the notice of the rest of the audience. He was also prone to falling off the tunes he flatpicked at great speed - but maybe I was the only one who noticed there. (:) He is one of my favourite performers by the way. 

Anahata

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #52 on: September 20, 2017, 03:49:15 PM »

On another forum (probably uk.music.folk newsgroup) I trotted out the old adage about an amateur practising till he plays it right, while a professional practises until he can't get it wrong, and Dick Gaughan picked up on this and pointed out that even a professional does get it wrong sometimes, and needs to acquire the extra skill of recovering gracefully when that happens.

I saw him break a guitar string during a song once. I wasn't sure what had happened, because he continued without missing a beat to the end of the song. Then without a break he started his verbal introduction to the next song which rambled off into a rather lengthy discussion about the differences between the Scottish and English education systems, and it was only half way though it I realised this was a slick distraction to cover the string changing routine. He didn't mention the string, unstrap his guitar or leave centre stage, nor even stoop to pick anything up: a set of spare strings were ready and waiting in his back pocket. I still wonder if he'd even rehearsed the whole routine at home to make it as smooth as possible.
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Chris Brimley

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #53 on: September 20, 2017, 06:09:30 PM »

The thing is that the top performers at Festivals these days virtually never get it wrong, at least not noticeably.  And it is mightily impressive.  If there are mental skills that they have acquired to allow them to achieve that, what on earth are they?
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Rees

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #54 on: September 20, 2017, 08:29:37 PM »

The thing is that the top performers at Festivals these days virtually never get it wrong, at least not noticeably.  And it is mightily impressive.  If there are mental skills that they have acquired to allow them to achieve that, what on earth are they?

Mostly, they are young  :-\
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Bob Ellis

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #55 on: Yesterday at 09:18:46 AM »

The thing is that the top performers at Festivals these days virtually never get it wrong, at least not noticeably.  And it is mightily impressive.  If there are mental skills that they have acquired to allow them to achieve that, what on earth are they?

Mostly, they are young  :-\

That's no excuse! They need to understand that this is folk music and that it is an essential part of the genre to get things wrong on a regular basis. I've been playing like that for decades and I don't need some smart-arse youngsters coming along and playing without mistakes, as if that's the way you're supposed to do it. What is the world coming to?  :o
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george garside

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #56 on: Yesterday at 09:54:42 AM »

how true Bob!

 I sometimes wonder if the 'perfection'   achieved (?)  by some of the young 'high flyers' is aided and abetted  by modern digital  sound systems  that are constantly juggled with by highly skilled 'soundmen' who can turn shit into milk chocolate!

george ;)
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Theo

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #57 on: Yesterday at 10:00:35 AM »

Unfortunately not George. It’s more often that sound systems make live performance worse rather than better. Relatively few sound people really understand how to work with acoustic instruments. Thankfully there are some.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #58 on: Yesterday at 10:58:17 AM »

I used to do a lot of juggling. Cheap trick for getting a clap was to drop a club or a ball deliberately. This gets a groan. Then you maneuver the dropped thingummy on to your foot and flick it back up into the pattern, without breaking rhythm, to thunderous applause. You have to do it right, though. Not sure how, or if,  this could transfer to a  melodeon performance.
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Stiamh

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Re: Performance Skills
« Reply #59 on: Yesterday at 12:42:22 PM »

The thing is that the top performers at Festivals these days virtually never get it wrong, at least not noticeably.  And it is mightily impressive.  If there are mental skills that they have acquired to allow them to achieve that, what on earth are they?

Mostly, they are young  :-\

That's no excuse! They need to understand that this is folk music and that it is an essential part of the genre to get things wrong on a regular basis. I've been playing like that for decades and I don't need some smart-arse youngsters coming along and playing without mistakes, as if that's the way you're supposed to do it. What is the world coming to?  :o

Quite agree Bob. Someone should tell them that not making mistakes is just unmusical.
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